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Full text of "A history of Persia"

THE GHILZAIS OF KANDAHAR     311
The Rise of the Abdalis of Herat.—As may be supposed,
the success of Mir Vais had fired other provinces
inhabited by Sunni populations to revolt, and among
them was neighbouring Herat, which under Asadulla, the
Abdali* chief, declared its independence and joined with
the Uzbegs to plunder Khorasan. To meet this invasion,
in A.H. 1132 (1719) a Persian army, thirty thousand
strong, was raised and placed under the orders of Safi
Kuli Khan, who marched on Herat. On the way he met
and defeated twelve thousand Uzbegs, and this victory
was accepted as a presage of a second and more important
success.
Asadulla Khan, with only fifteen thousand Afghans,
decided to engage the superior Persian force, and there
was a hotly contested fight until by a mistake the Persian
artillery fired on a body of their own cavalry. The error
gave rise to a suspicion of treachery, which, reacting on
the army, threw it into confusion. The Afghans, seeing
their chance, made a decisive charge and won the day by
their valour, the Persians losing one-third of their men,
their general, their artillery, and their baggage. The
loss to the Afghans was three thousand, or one-fifth of
the army engaged; but the Abdalis, like their neighbours
and rivals the Ghilzais, had won their freedom, and hence-
forth constituted a second independent state on the eastern
frontier of Persia. Their relations with the Ghilzais were
unfriendly, and even after the capture of Isfahan they
were successful in taking Farrah from them.
1 This tribe Is identical with the Durrani. The popular belief is that Ahmad Shah
changed the name in consequence of a dream and assumed the title of Shah Dvr-i~Durran,
or " Pearl of Pearls,"